Our star columnist is going to finish the season as top trainer at York - so what chance of adding to his tally on Saturday?
1625 York Saturday - Defence Treaty
1615 Newmarket Saturday - Baronial Pride
Saturday is the final day of York season and I’m pleased to finish the campaign as the leading trainer at my local track.
The thought at the beginning of the season was to try and get it put to bed and get some early winners om the board. It doesn’t always happen that way, but luckily it did.
There have been some good days this year but we never take York for granted – it’s a tough place to get a winner. But to have 16 in 2018 is quite an achievement, so the team have done well.
Whether we can add to that tally on Saturday I don’t know but we have a nice party heading there starting with Exhort in the Download The Coral App Handicap. She’s a filly we like who has progressed all year. She’s a stone higher in the ratings than in the spring and won here in July. She’d have a chance.
We stuck blinkers on Cosmic Law when dropping him back to five furlongs at Ayr last time and now try a visor here. He was coming back at them at the finish in the Harry Rosebery and, back up to six, could go well in the coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes.
So could our other runner Space Traveller who wears blinkers for the first time. He was probably outclassed in the Middle Park last time but I didn’t think he handled the track very well so it will be interesting to see how he gets on.
We run three in the Coral Sprint Trophy.
I thought Brian The Snail ran well in the Ayr Gold Cup, winning his race down the middle of the track, which sadly wasn’t the place to be. Any rain here would help, just to slow the race down, but he doesn’t need soft ground and has the ability to go well.
George Bowen has had a great season but that’s reflected in his mark. We’re taking seven pounds off him here with Oakley Brown’s claim. He’s straightforward and likes the track but needs to be at his very best.
Kimberella ran ok up at Ayr and has had a half-decent season. He too is high enough in the ratings though and we’re taking five off with Conor Murtagh to see if that helps.
We’re double-handed in the Coral Nursery. Archies Lad has been running well although the handicapper hasn’t exactly thrown him in off 78. He gets the trip well though and will handle any cut in the ground.
Sootability won on debut which surprised us a little and is rated on that form. She hasn’t run to it since and would need her A-game to win this.
Hand on heart Absolute Dream has been a little disappointing and would need to be at his very best in the coral.co.uk EBFstallions.com Novice Stakes.
Our other runner, Defence Treaty, is a horse we like a lot. I thought he ran a nice race to finish third on debut at Hamilton and he’s improved a ton for that. He’s a nice colt but the favourite might take a bit of beating.
Northwest Frontier is another to have enjoyed a good season and he heads into the Coral Stayers Handicap in good order. He needs to be back at his very best to win this but would have a real chance if he is firing on all cylinders.
We also run Suegioo who will decide himself how he goes. He has the ability to run a big race and if they go a gallop it will help him – he needs them to be coming back to him.
Our final runner is Society Red in the Coldstream Guards Association Cup Handicap. He’s not been at his best recently and very much needs to bounce back to be competitive.
We have a nice team heading down to Newmarket too.
Baronial Pride is a horse we like a lot and he’s one of two we run in the Mydubai Nursery. I think the step up to seven furlongs here will really suit him as he’s struggled to lay up over six. I hope he travels better through this and it would be no shock to see him to go very close.
Mr Diamond is owned by my better half and had his Derby last week when he won a £25,000 nursery at Nottingham. That kept her happy for a while and to be fair the horse is clearly in good heart and has no weight on his back here.
Darkanna pulled off a shoe and struck into herself at Ayr last time so you can forget that run. We’re happy with her at home again and she’s a very honest filly who runs in the Dubai Life British EBF Boadicea Stakes.
We also run Marie Of Lyon who really would need a bit of rain to be at her best. She has a bit of Black Type already though and this is the last race over here for her this season.
Forest Ranger went to Korea for his last run which came as a bit of a shock to him but he’s back home and going well again. He runs in the closing Darley Stakes but has a penalty to carry which never makes life easy.